I started in April to move toward work again.  In thought.  Shaped my request to the Universe:  when I’m ready, about 10 hours a week at a certain pay rate, knowing that 10 hours would be punishing, but possible.

A few weeks ago I got a call for a short-term temp gig this week.  I’ve worked with the client on the same project beginning about two months before the hospital mess.  The caller wondered–would I be interested in more temp gigs?  Yes, with the understanding that I’m recovering from long-term illness and unable to work 8-hour days.   About 3 to 4 hours a day?  Yes.

On Tuesday when I got home after 3-1/2 hours at work, I sobbed the brain-fatigue out of me.  Then, spent 6 hours lying down reading (=resting).  Was able to make lunch.

Yesterday when I got home after 3 hours at work, was doing better–no sobbing until Big Mister rightly asked me to do something.  Then, my response was like being poked at with a sharp stick, the end anointed with poison.  My head throbs with fatigue, my eyes blink too slowly.  I want to lie down and just stop.

Just over a year ago, four months out of hospital, I wrote about my bubble theory of recuperation, back when thinking was a full-time exercise, often in futility.  It’s still there, my bubble that indicates when I’ve surpassed my tolerance of stimulation, of being alive to the world.

The fatigue smothers and terrifies.  Smother now, terrify later:  an advert I recommend you don’t respond to.  The terrify part is wondering what will happen to me in a few days, knowing how tired I am now, how foggy and far away.  The crashes are painful to the point of considering giving up, ceding responsibility for my life and my part in anyone else’s life.  To feel calm, to dab at paint, pet the cats.

Ceding won’t make things better.  Life would become harder, which is not that difficult to imagine.  I know in my guts what “hard” means.  Often I wonder why I’m not daily vomiting up the anguish.

I need to summon courage as I go back for another 3-hour block this morning.  I need to tell the client that I’m done for the week, that I get tired very easily and it’s time for a break until next week.  Behind those statements is fear:  fear that I’ll miss this chance to return to the working world where I earn money in order to keep our house.

One more request for the Universe:  please help me present myself coherently, cogently, and confidently.  Don’t let ’em see me sweat.

But strangely enough, when I can become still, I also find the voice of my faith that everything will come in the right order, that I’ll be presented with and take the correct steps to continue moving forward to the less-foggy.  I may teeter on the edge of a crash, but maybe it won’t happen.  I won’t know if I don’t try.


24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. IsobelandCatIsobelandCat
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:45:53

    I wish the very best. A good understanding employer will respect you for your honesty, and even if s/he lets you go this time, my guess is they will appreciate you saying it is too much too soon rather than staying getting the pay and being unable to function. If they are too crass to understand, you are better off leaving anyway as that environment would be most unlikely to help your healing.
    You have a lot of courage, a lot of inner strength. Always remember that.


    • lahgitana
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 07:36:01

      If I hadn’t been so tired when I read your comment, I would have groaned to hear my own words coming back to me. But you’re so right, Isobel, and it’s part of the deal in paving one’s path–be true, tell the truth, and I end up where I need to be.

      Thanks for a sterling reminder of my strength. I don’t even get a breath of that while so tired, nor even most moments. I have a weird little mantra that helps: “I can do hard things.”


  2. ~ Ivy ~ (@ivyft)
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:45:53

    Oh, wow, what a HUGE step! I am so darned proud of you, L.
    The thing with fear is … it is there to protect you, but it cannot paralyze you. And I see you’re not allowing it to paralyze you during this very frightening moment. So bravo for facing the ‘terrify’ part and I guess… just keep putting one foot in front of the other? And keep us posted! Hugs to you!


  3. nadbugs
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 08:46:28

    WP won’t let me “like” this. So : LIKE!!


  4. jacquiefioramonti
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:04:32

    I can’ t even begin to imagine how difficult this is. I have only ever had to deal with short bouts of fatigue brought on by a viral infection, and that was hard enough. I salute your courage and spirit. You’re one heck of a lady. I hope today went well.


    • lahgitana
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 07:39:59

      I remember that kind of fatigue, Jacquie–it’s simply shocking to be so flattened, isn’t it?! Glad you have had only moments, but that’s all it takes to know how helpless we can be…. Always happy when you stop in!


  5. neowatercolour
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 11:07:46

    Hi L, continue to take one minute, one hour, one day at a time. You sound very coherent and cogent here – I absolutely ” know” (as much as anyone can !) how difficult and scary this is for you, but I absolutely also know you have the courage and desire to do this. My heart and best wishes are with you – whatever happens, be kind to yourself – atta girl ! :-) xx


    • lahgitana
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 07:42:03

      Oh thank you, V, for your heartfelt wishes! Having the desire to take this step is motivation and helps to sort my priorities. Maybe maybe maybe I’ve learned enough in the last 17 months to know if I have to stop. ??!!


  6. speccy
    Jul 11, 2013 @ 12:04:18

    Actual work! Wonderful, Laurel :) Scary, exhausting, invigorating, inspiring- you are doing brilliantly!!!


    • lahgitana
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 07:44:35

      Sheesh–shoulda let you write a paragraph in the post, Fiona. Well said! Oh yes, actual work, with money flowing in next week and the following week, is balm for the soul, hope in an electron stream of currency! Thanks so for your cheerleading. Do you know the expression: Takes one to know one?! Cuz you are/do. >:-D


  7. Pix Under the Oaks
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 05:52:42

    Aww Laurel. Just know that I am cheering you on. Such a huge step. Listen to your heart and body. Hugs.


    • lahgitana
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 07:46:05

      Hi Pix–I can hear your cheers and they boost me along. I listened to what I needed and spent Friday on the couch watching movies. !! Even slept well last night. Goodness! Progress! (I hope!)


  8. 10000hourstobe
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 06:35:31

    My darling Laurel. I am sending you love through the aether. You are clearly not alone as the above loving messages indicate. We are with you, your friends, proud of you–however much you can do.


  9. heretherebespiders
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 12:09:03

    Hi babe, I’m late in. I didn’t want to read this! Because as of Monday, for sure, I am back to work myself. Full time. Totally new job, in the warehouse so no phones, emails, or horrible ‘customers.’ But there will be ladders. I will 100% be doing the don’t let em see me sweat thing. It’s all men in the warehouse now, and I’m scared of heights! I REFUSE to be a big girly-girl and have a panic attack over it, tho. Refuse.


    • lahgitana
      Jul 13, 2013 @ 12:54:16

      Ah girl…. Try hard to remember that you don’t have to kill yourself over a job. As Isobel said above about telling the truth –too much too soon, etc.– keep in touch with the dr and tell your truth. If you have to adjust the days and hours, talk to the doc–keep that support at your back. (if you had a broken leg, you’d be “allowed” adjustments.)

      Maybe you don’t have to go so far as a panic attack—if you can’t do ladders or any other damn thing…. Speak up…. (I wish I could help!)

      I will hope that the change in work environment will be helpful. Big Mister reminded me that returning to work requires getting used to…. like a muscle that hasn’t been exercised, it’s gonna be shaky to begin with. (By my third day, I was doing better.)

      Hope, hope, hope, my dear Spiders! One thing we got here out of my ten hours at work is the hope that comes with knowing there will be MONEY!!!! I can put up with a lot if it means keeping my house.


  10. ~ Ivy ~ (@ivyft)
    Jul 25, 2013 @ 17:07:25

    Hey, L — Just stopping by to tell you I was thinking of you and I’m hoping you’re doing ok with the work thing. Sending you the best of vibes!


    • lahgitana
      Jul 30, 2013 @ 07:57:55

      Oh dear Ivy, thank you for stopping in. The recovery has been beastly and I’m not done yet. Just now returning to the computer…. I hope you are well.


  11. ~ Ivy ~ (@ivyft)
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 12:53:49

    Don’t worry, L – take your time. I am well, thanks for asking. I keep sending you the best of vibes! (We’ll be here when you’re ready to share again) ;-)


    • lahgitana
      Jul 30, 2013 @ 14:10:59

      It feels like it will never end, Ivy, which then adds to the disarray. But then today saw improvement and ability, plus more calm. This is very hard. Thank you for the healing vibes–I feel so alone when the awfulness descends….


  12. ~ Ivy ~ (@ivyft)
    Jul 30, 2013 @ 16:18:10

    I can only imagine, L — sorry that it is so hard. Feeling alone in this situation is comprehensible, I think. Hang in there… Hugs to yoU!


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